Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Holy Grail

After nearly two months sans comida mexicana, I've eaten three Latino dishes in the last five days. Saturday was El Salto, Sunday was Holy Frijoles, and tonight was Los Amigos Dos. I never knew how much I took good Mexican food for granted down in Tejas. Up here in Maryland, Catholics abound, but they're all Irish or something.

El Salto reminded me of those local Italian places you find in Texas. Ethnics running the scenes, serving Americanized dishes, and thickening their accents for atmosphere. My chimichanga was delicious, but The Missus wasn't as impressed as I. She thought their salsa was too mild.

Holy Frijoles was a very gringo attempt that fell flat. I should have seen that coming. Clearly, "frijoles" is meant to be a slant rhyme with "holy." It takes more than a cast iron skillet and some tortillas and frijoles to make a good Mexican restaurant. The Missus thinks they get their chili sauce from a box.

Tonight was Los Amigos Dos. I was thrown off by the wrong order of the adjectives. I feared another gringo attempt. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised when the lady who took our order wrote down "pollo" and spoke with an accent. We were on the right track. But something was a little off. My quesadillas weren't quite fried enough, so I had to eat them with a fork and knife. And instead of Mexican rice, I was served plain white rice. The Missus liked what she had, but she wouldn't call it "Mexican" either. I think they're Peruvian or Argentinian. Something South American, judging from the decor.

So the quest continues. We're exploring Eastern Avenue later this week, particularly looking for a good hole in the wall. We found some good Mexican-Salvadorean places last summer in D.C., but we'd rather not have to trek thirty miles southwest everytime we get a hankerin for tortillas.

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